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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

LETTER xvin       THE SICK AND WOUNDED                     51

all round the tent, some shaking the curtains and calling
" Hakim \ Hakim \" and though I kept it shut till
eleven, and raised the mercury to 115 by doing so,
there was no rest.

From eleven o'clock till 9 P.M., except for one hour,
when I was away at the Khan's, I was " seeing patients,"
wishing I were a real instead of a spurious Hakim, for
there was so much suffering, and some of it I knew not
how to relieve. However, I was able (thanks to St.
Mary's Hospital, London) to open three whitlows and
two abscesses, and it was delightful to see the immediate
relief of the sufferers. " God is great," they all exclaimed,
and the bystanders echoed, " God is great." I dressed
five neglected bullet wounds, and sewed up a gash of
doubtful origin, and with a little help from Mirza pre-
pared eye-lotions and medicines for seventy-three people.
I asked one badly-wounded man in what quarrel he had
been shot, and he replied that he didn't know, his Khan
had told him to go and fight.

In the afternoon several very distressed people were
brought from an Armenian village ten miles off, and were
laid by those who brought them at the tent door. At
five the crowd was very great and the hubbub inconceiv-
able, and Mirza failed to keep order in the absence of
Aziz Khan, who had gone on a pilgrimage to a neighbour-
ing imammda. The mercury had never fallen below
100. I had been standing or kneeling for six hours,
and had a racking headache, so I reluctantly shut up my
medicine chest and went by invitation to call on the
Khan's wives, but the whole crowd surrounded and fol-
lowed me, swelling as it moved along, a man with a mare
with bad eyes, which had been brought ten miles for eye-
lotion, increasing the clamour by his urgency. " Khanum !
Khanum!" (lady) "Chashma!" (eyes) "Shikam!" (stomach)
were shouted on all sides, with " Hakim! Hakim !" The